Are Doctors against HPV Vaccine for Men?


When it comes to taking vaccine, it is seen that usually men delay in the intake. Why? Are doctors against HPV vaccine for men? The Serum Institute of India has been developing the Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine, or the qHPV, known by the name Cervavac. This vaccine recently received approval for sale by the DGCI or Drugs Controller General of India. It is mainly known to prevent cervical cancer in women. However, it has come to light that many young men are taking the HPV vaccine as well. 

While in India, the vaccine is recommended for women and still not received approval for men as a group calling themselves doctors against HPV vaccine is the reason, it is a different scenario in the United States. 

As per data obtained from the National Health Interview Surveys, for the period 2010 and 2018, medical researchers at Michigan found that about 16% of young men in the age group of 18 to 21 years have taken the vaccine even if it is just a single dose in comparison to women who were administered on 42% of the same during the same period. 

Why doctors against HPV vaccine? Need for men to take vaccine?

Initially, the HPV vaccine was designed keeping in mind the requirement of women, the main objective being to prevent the formation of reproductive warts and cancers that occur due to sexually transmitted infection in the US. While the FDA approved it to be used for women in 2006, in 2009, it extended the approval for men as well. While in other nations, doctors against HPV vaccine are still ruling the health industry.

As such, more and more women took the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. However, of late, it has come to the notice that oropharyngeal cancer, in which the main site involved in the throat and the tonsils, and the back of the tongue, has become rampant and exceeded in number comparison to cervical cancer. The causative agent is none other than the HPV; in men, the incidence is more than 80%. 

According to experts, it is quite likely that not many are aware of this vaccine as a cancer-preventing one and perhaps may be ignorant about the same. But as far as oropharyngeal cancer is concerned, it can affect anyone, and the worst part is that there is no good screening method for the same. For the same reason, this vaccine assumes greater importance. 

What age is late for taking the HPV vaccine?

Everyone in the age range of 9 years to 26 years must get the vaccine. The effectiveness is at its peak if administered between 11 and 12 years. If you have not been vaccinated and are in the age group of 27 and 45 years, it is best to talk to your medical practitioner about how you can benefit from the same. 

Important information for parents about the HPV vaccine

Around 14 million individuals, which also include teenagers, get infected with HPV every year. If the infection persists, it can cause cancer. Know a few facts about the vaccine here-

  1. The HPV vaccine helps in preventing cancer
  2. The vaccine is safe as they are licensed by Food and Drug Administration FDA and under CDC recommendation.
  3. The HPV vaccine works well
  4. It is safe and effective for boys as well
  5. The HPV vaccine offers long-lasting protection. 
  6. The vaccine might cause some mild side effects. 

As such, it is best to talk to your medical practitioner and know how you must go about it. If doctors against HPV vaccine, it is better to take a second opinion.

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